"When the war started, I was involved in the most difficult stage of the negotiations on the nuclear case. Because if you remember in 2015, Congress set a deadline that unless we had a framework agreement on the nuclear issue by April first, Congress would impose sanctions that the U.S. administration would not be able to waive. We were running against a deadline in Lausanne (Switzerland) when we had that stage of negotiations. And yet, John Kerry and I spent two days from that precious time talking about how to end the war in Yemen although that was not my mandate, but I thought the war in Yemen was so disastrous that we should bring it to an end."
Zarif continued, "John Kerry and I reached an understanding that we need to end this war. At that time the current minister of state of Saudi Arabia, Adel al-Jubeir, was U.S. ambassador, Saudi ambassador to the U.S. After we reached an agreement on April second or third, John Kerry went back to Washington talked to Adel al-Jubeir, he went back to Saudi Arabia and got an OK for a ceasefire in Yemen. And he informed me that we can have a ceasefire. I immediately contacted the Houthis and got them to agree to a ceasefire. This is April 2015. In a few days it will be four years."
He added, "Then I was boarding a plane to Indonesia"I told my deputy wait for a call from Secretary Kerry, he'll tell you that the final agreement has arrived. We arrived in Indonesia eight hours later, I called Secretary Kerry and said what happened? He said, Saudis reneged, because they believed they could have a military victory "in three weeks." I told him they won't be able to have a military victory, not in three weeks, not in three months, not in three years. But he said, "what can I do? I'm fed up with them, they won't budge." I said, "fine, we tried."
Zarif shook his head and said, "The next day, the very next day, President Obama of all people, made a public statement accusing Iran of "interfering in Yemen." The very next day. I told them, okay you couldn't get it (the ceasefire) from your allies, why are you blaming us? You don't want to blame your allies, fine but, why are you blaming us?"